The turgid winds of winter howl their woe,
Blow their hurt fiercely against frosty panes.
Don’t they have somewhere else more kind to go;
A wood, perhaps, or a still summer lane?
©2021 KT Workman
Poetry form used: quatrain
It seems the older I get, the more I miss my childhood, and the more I yearn to go “Home.” Yes, my present house, the one I have lived in for a little over twenty years, is home, but I’m referring more to a state of being than a physical place.
I will say, though, that the old, weathered house where I spent the first twelve years of my life is a big part of Home. It had no indoor plumbing, and we relied on heat from the fireplace in the front room and the wood cookstove in the kitchen in the winter months to keep us warm. Most places inside were still cold if you weren’t in the kitchen or right in front of the fireplace. My siblings and I slept under quilts my mama had made from fabric scraps. On frigid nights, the layers were so heavy I felt almost pinned to the bed under their weight. But I wasn’t cold. Many mornings I woke to the cloud of my breath and the smell of baking biscuits and sizzling bacon.
In the summer, there was no escaping the heat. I had never known the luxury of a fan to sleep under, let alone air conditioning, so I don’t recall sweating interfering with my sleep. In the height of summer, Mama canned vegetables from our large garden. My sisters and I were often recruited to help, and let me tell you, if I had to be in that hot, stifling kitchen today, I would probably pass out.
I don’t look back on those times as hard, though I’m sure they were to my parents. They bore the bulk of the work and let us children have plenty of playtime. We roamed our large farm/ranch and the lands surrounding it (which at that time was still primarily woods), played in the branch, and because we had few toys, improvised our own. We used our imaginations to be cowboys, Indians (that’s what Native Americans were known as then), play war, and sometimes, my sister closest in age to me, and I played with dolls. But outside was the preferred place to be.
I’m old enough to know that I look back on those times through rose-colored glasses, but I think most of us do, even those whose childhoods weren’t so great. Some people have horrific childhoods with little to no good memories, but most of us fall somewhere between idyllic and horrific. And I think we recall more of the good than the bad over time.
My mama had a hard childhood. Her family was dirt poor, and her father was an abusive alcoholic, and though Mama’s mother was kind and gentle, I don’t think she protected her children from their father. In that day and time, the man was the king of his castle, and what he said (or did) was the law. I believe, though, that Granny endured most of his physical violence. And you know, one would think my mama would have no desire to return to that time in her life or see her father again. But…
In the final months of her life, when my siblings and I were caring for Mama, she often spoke of her parents. She was old—eighty-seven—and after a series of mini-strokes (we think), her mind was slipping away. Frequently, she believed she was still a child, and her children were people she didn’t know who were taking care of her. She would ask us if Mama and Daddy knew she was there (Maybe in a hospital?) and when would they come to take her home. We always reassured her they knew and would be there as soon as she was well enough. What else could we do but make her passing as easy as possible for her both physically and emotionally?
Mama departed this earth eighteen years ago this month. And just like she wanted to go Home as she was dying, for several years now, I’ve also felt that urge to return Home as I know it. I don’t get it—what’s so magical about our childhood that makes us want to return there, that makes us hope that if there is a Heaven, it will be Home? Is it the innocence of that time in our lives that beckons to us, calls us back to the safety we felt beneath our parents’ wings? All too soon—especially in today’s world—that innocence is ripped away, and we see the ugly side of life.
As we grow older, we don’t necessarily grow more content. And we look back, look back, on those perfect halcyon days, wanting to go Home.
©2022 KT Workman
These are two of my recent watercolor paintings. One is of a storm at sea, the other of one over land. The cool thing about the storm over the sea is that it was painted using only one big brush (except for the birds) called a hake; this particular one is two inches wide and made from goat hair. It amazed me that I could paint the entire picture with only this one, humongous brush. It was one of my quicker paintings but one of my favorites.
©2022 KT Workman
vengeful crows perch on a wire watch me through the window a morose murder for hire their sullen gaze never tires sloe eyes tell me they know vengeful crows perch on a wire they have seen my dark desires witnessed my bloody tableau a morose murder for hire their voices raise in a raucous choir my guilty face they know vengeful crows perch on a wire I fear my circumstance is dire as they wait for darkness to grow a morose murder for hire the sagacious birds plan my funeral pyre beneath the half-moon’s ashen glow vengeful crows perch on a wire a morose murder for hire ©2021 KT Workman
Poetry form: villanelle
We all have a favorite Christmas memory, and mine happens to be one of my earliest— As all kids do, I would pilfer around under the tree in the days leading up to Christmas, looking at the presents and looking for my name, and shaking those of course. When I was around five or six, at a certain point in all the looking and shaking, I realized my mama didn’t have a present under the tree. And that made me sad. I remember going into the kitchen where Mama was working (she was always working at something) and asking why she didn’t have anything under the tree. I don’t remember her answer, but she must have seen the distress on her youngest’s face. She didn’t tell me that providing Christmas for seven children put a severe strain on her and Daddy’s limited resources; she didn’t tell me they didn’t have the money to buy presents for themselves; she offered up a solution instead. She gave me a powder compact she hadn’t yet opened, a small square of Christmas paper, and told me I could wrap it up for her. To this day, I still remember how good it made me feel to put that small present under the tree for my mama. And looking back, I think I realized that day that it truly is better to give than receive. My favorite Christmas song, “Little Drummer Boy”, is about giving; more specifically about the giving of self, whether it’s your time, talent, donating to charities—something other than buying presents that put you into debt, and/or will be shoved in a closet and forgotten by New Year’s day. Make lasting memories instead. Little Drummer Boy (also known as Carol of the Drum) video Performed by: Vienna Boys Choir Written by: Katherine Kennicot Davis ©2019 KT Workman (Note: This was originally posted on a previous blog. I've been so busy this week, I haven't had time or energy to post, and very little time to read posts of those I follow. Here's wishing all a very Merry Christmas. I hope Santa brings you all your heart desires.)
I did these three watercolor paintings a while back for an online course I was taking. They are about how by using bright or dull colors, one can focus attention on the foreground, background, or both–as in the last picture, which I am not fond of at all. I debated posting that particular one but decided to go ahead and put it out there. In any endeavor, we learn by our failures as well as our successes. I can look at it now and see what I would have done differently, but in my defense, I will say it looks very similar to my instructor’s finished painting. I’m finding out as I go along that at first one learns by imitating others (as in writing) before developing one’s own style. We are all unique, so it makes sense that our paintings will eventually be entirely our own, and not a carbon copy of someone else’s. I’m still on the path to learning my own.
©2021 KT Workman
On reviewing before publishing, I see that on the first two paintings, I signed them differently. KTW is my online persona, and KL is my real initials. Looks like I must be trying to figure out who “Kathy the Painter” is along the way too. 😊
Trish roused from a deep sleep, her body lethargic, heavy, and so, so tired. She wanted to roll to her other side off her aching hip and fall back into blissful unconsciousness but couldn’t summon the energy to do so. As she was slipping back beneath the veil of sleep, her full-to-bursting bladder spasmed—shouldn’t have drunk that fourth Margarita.
With a sigh, she threw back the covers and made her way to the bathroom. While sitting on the toilet, Trish became aware of a bone-deep aching in the muscles of her arms and legs, the weighty feel of them. She’d have to make an appointment with Dr. Lane soon if whatever was going on with her body didn’t improve. It didn’t seem right having perpetually sore, tired muscles when she sat at a desk all day. And it was interfering with her life. Last night, she hadn’t danced—hadn’t for a long time—when she and Logan met for drinks at Yancey’s Bar and Grill. She was always too tired for that anymore.
She flushed, returned to her warm bed, and was asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow.
And came awake with a start.
Trish felt things, some things, crawling over her scalp, her arms and legs, and even something wriggling inside her vagina. Screeching, she sat up, reached for the lamp, clicked it on.
Her screech turned into a wail of terror when she saw numerous thin wires piercing her body (in places, through her short gown), and she tracked the wires upward where they met in the center of the ceiling fan and disappeared inside.Continue reading “Feeding”
Less than a month ago—November 17th to be precise—just after sunset, Husband and I were coming out of a restaurant and was greeted with this lovely sky. The moon was spectacular, boasting a halo of light. I took these shots with my iPhone, so they aren’t profession quality, but I think they’re nice just the same. I’m a selenophile, and will often go outside at night to look upon the moon’s beauty, which I love in all her forms, from just a crescent sliver to full and pregnant. Even in the winter, I’ll wrap up in a blanket and visit her every few nights. Husband thinks I’m crazy. He’s probably right but, hey, we all gotta be something.
©️2021 KT Workman